Little_Socrates's forum posts

#1 Posted by Little_Socrates (5733 posts) -

@rongalaxy said:

Well, I'm never buying an indie game again. Been burned too many times where I buy a game like transistor or rogue legacy full price and it ends up coming to PS plus.

It is frustrating, right? I mean, I don't mind a game like Spelunky, The Binding of Isaac, or Rogue Legacy coming over because they're near-infinite in content, and a multiplayer game like Towerfall Ascension is fine because I never wanted to not have Towerfall. Basically, you can buy those games at discounts or whatever, but they're perennial games that you might play for an entire console lifespan.

It's more troubling with a game like Transistor. If you've beat that game, you're done, and there's not necessarily a ton you can get out of having it sooner than someone else (unless you really like it and it affects the way you experience things day to day or you like it SO much you replay it many times.)

Basically, y'all, more Pix the Cat and Luftrausers, less Transistor and Strider.

#2 Posted by Little_Socrates (5733 posts) -

Hilariously, this is the kind of overrepresented music that led to people not playing Rock Band anymore. Anyone asking for more Foo Fighters or Avenged Sevenfold is in the extreme minority and has gotten enough.

"R U Mine" is a fine addition, I suppose. "Do I Wanna Know" probably would've been smarter for bringing back the karaoke kids.

#3 Posted by Little_Socrates (5733 posts) -

My list only brought bottom-games Hearthstone and Mario Kart 8.

You kids are crazy to care about Middle-Earth, Transistor, or Shovel Knight, I say.

#4 Posted by Little_Socrates (5733 posts) -

@privodotmenit: I posted my read on that on page 4. Basically, the question as to whether or not its core is good is based upon how you evaluate the shooting, and it comes down to very detail-oriented conversation as to whether or not you think it's compelling or not. For example, I can't do Killzone, some people can't do BioShock, some people can't do Borderlands, and some people can't do any PC shooter; "shooting" has so many different styles and meanings that simplifying everything as "just shooting" really doesn't work. And that's a conversation that didn't happen because everyone agreed with Brad that the shooting itself was more than solid, though I wish it had happened because it would give weight to the argument.

cc: @cikame

#5 Posted by Little_Socrates (5733 posts) -

You can have him back, far as I'm concerned.

#6 Posted by Little_Socrates (5733 posts) -

@cikame: You're oversimplifying his argument; he does believe that Destiny is a better experience of shooting than games like Borderlands or Wolfenstein. Certainly you "just shoot" in all three games, but Destiny is a supremely tight and smooth level of control. It's actually a little bit magical; the way the look acceleration feels, the way the weapon report shoots off, the way characters move both in front of your gun and behind it. It's what made Call of Duty 4 or Battlefield 3 so magical as well; it's more than just perks and destruction, but also the way that little sandbag noise goes off whenever you hit, and the way those little >< appear around your crosshair on a successful shot, and the way Battlefield's gun reports are so well recorded, and the quality of control on the sprint and aim-down-the-sights of Call of Duty 4, and the first satisfying melee kill since the crowbar in Half Life 2.

I've highlighted what I think the weaknesses of Brad's argument were on the last page, but that's what he is referring to when he references the "core" of Destiny.

#7 Posted by Little_Socrates (5733 posts) -

@brendan said:

Eh, I don't know exactly why Brad always gets the worst treatment by everybody for this stuff while several other games on the list were similar to Brad and Destiny. Brad wasn't even as acidic in his arguments as some of Jeff's were, but there must be something about his tone or his words that sets off some of the others to argue with him the most about this stuff. Meh, this is always my favourite content of the year and I never get annoyed at it like many listeners do so it's all good to me!

I actually really love the Game of the Year Deliberations podcasts, and the big fights are way preferable to the wet farts of "Shadow of Mordor, huh" or "So it's The Last of Us?" results of the last few years. These days, those fights happen around the #9 and 10 spots. Usually, it's a quadrilogy of games in hot competition; this time, it was basically down to "Is it Destiny or literally any other game." That fact was what got Destiny on the list. The arguments for #10 were bad in whole. Nobody argued for anything else well OR passionately. If Brad's arguments were bad FOR Destiny, everyone else's arguments were bad FOR Wolfenstein, Divinity, Luftrausers, and several games that might have reached that spot along the way. Better arguments were made for some of the earliest cuts. The ire comes because it made the list and because it was the longest argument on the podcast.

Here's the problem; Brad has argued two or three times by reducing arguments to a single sentence and saying them over and over again. Saints Row The Third is another iterative game in a genre of well-liked games; Skyrim is an innovation because "they finally did it!" as though nobody liked Morrowind, Oblivion, or the Fallout games, let alone Borderlands, Dead Island, World of Warcraft, and The Witcher 2. His argument for Metal Gear Solid 4 was basically reducing all the arguments that the gameplay was mediocre to "the best parts are when you play it" including situations that are an aiming reticle away from being quick-time events; its playable cutscenes, so to speak.

And the Destiny argument reduces everything to "it gets really complex in the endgame!" without ever explaining how or why and "it'd be game of the year if there were more of it" when everyone argues that the problem is that what's there wasn't good enough to make them ever want to play enough to see the end, and therefore the problem is that there needs to be significantly better content. His argument for why the grind can be done faster is "you can play in The Crucible," which every single staffer argued was a really bad competitive multiplayer mode, so basically you can trudge through an even harsher grind for a still-long shorter time. His "better missions" were Nightfalls (never described, I still don't know what they are) and The Raid, a ninety minute piece of content that nobody bothered to argue was good OR bad. No matter what, it wasn't one of Brad's recommendations for Best Moment or Sequence, so I can't pretend that it seemed a good fit for the list over Valiant Hearts or Wolfenstein considering each had a moment or sequence more remarkable and more general support. This is not me pulling apart the details of the argument; the backbone of the argument is flawed at its most basic premises, and none of the arguments that could reinforce that defense were ever argued.

Many people delve into the specifics of his arguments, and I understand why, but those were not convincing to the staff members either. I don't really know if the weapons are better are worse in other games, but the specifics are never really clarified beyond "Kessler got a gun that one-shotted a boss" as though just removing play from a game's battles is all it takes for a weapon to be fun. I don't know if the end-game content is better because he never described why it's better. And I don't know if the shooting is enough to make the early parts of the game fun because nobody described what the shooting was like or why it was fun. This is the stuff that Giant Bomb often fails to discuss whatsoever, which is why they're often being described as "irrelevant" by some people in the wider gaming community. It's not like you have to dig for examples of people doing a better job than this, seeing as friends of the site Idle Thumbs do totally discuss the specifics of mechanics. Partly, it's sad, because a lot of the games Brad loves largely involve this kind of discussion, which is the vast majority of why he likes them, but he doesn't feel comfortable bringing that level of specificity to the podcast. One DOTA episode covers the spread on that, though.

And I think there's a good argument to be made for Destiny; I only played the beta, but I loved what I played of The Crucible, and the vehicle movement was inspiring, and the shooting elevated what were otherwise middling encounters to be more fun than any encounter I had in Shadow of Mordor or Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, even when it was just running in and shooting guys in a big room. And the game is just a gorgeous bit of art to look at; it made the cut for Best Looking Game in a year with loads of gorgeous games for a reason. In that regard, it's one of my favorite open worlds of the year, because at least I want to be there; Mordor is a sad, ugly, gray place with a static and stormy skybox, and the second map is dull as dirt fantasy land, as disinteresting as the starting area in Cyrodiil would be without the details.

Those things are reasons to get it on the list. I think there's lots of arguments for those other games that just never really got made, but those games just didn't make a strong enough impression on the team. Though considering how much people loved Nidhogg and Sportsfriends I'm sad neither was mentioned for the list.

Additionally, his argument for DOTA 2 was actually really defensible in my opinion, as was his argument for Mass Effect 3 (the perfect case of "the second-most disappointing game can also be a GOTY list entry," argued for beautifully, actually,) and there's a reason most people haven't complained in the past about other people's passionate arguments for games like Syndicate or The Witcher 2, or acidic arguments against games like Catherine, the 2010 Red Dead Redemption argument, Darksiders, or LIMBO. And the Minerva's Den vs Lair of the Shadow Broker conversation was way more compelling for this same reason; it's exhausting and a big circuitous but at least the reasoning for why those were both real cool was compelling. And I think Brad has made great arguments for games in the past (Uncharted 2, Red Dead Redemption, StarCraft II included.) But the Destiny argument is perhaps the deepest disappointment in actual argument because its premises are actively reductive and fail to argue for many of the things which make the game good.

P.S. People are mad about Destiny because Brad often prefers games that fall to the wayside, like RAGE or Dead Island, or Mass Effect 3, or DOTA 2, or Destiny, or Transistor, or Enslaved, or Dead Rising 2. The list goes on, and it's not so often a game like Crypt of the Necrodancer that gets no coverage and more often fondness for a game like Asura's Wrath that a lot of people just think is dumb. I sometimes see validity in those games: Mass Effect 3 is my favorite Mass Effect, my favorite series, for completely different reasons from his, and Asura's Wrath is some good fun. Sometimes I think he's full of shit: Dead Island hasn't gotten worse since the first one, they were all just on-fire garbage, and RAGE was one of the most boring games I've ever played. But I don't necessarily think that's a bad quality; I just know my opinions don't always line up with his.

#8 Posted by Little_Socrates (5733 posts) -

@crembaw: Basically he looked at the staff members' personal Top 10s and assigned point values each time a game appeared on a list. A game at #1 received 10 points, #2 9 points, #3 8 points, etc. Then he totaled them up on the far right, which determined the order.

#9 Posted by Little_Socrates (5733 posts) -

Serial has a similar appeal to Twin Peaks minus the supernatural elements. It's cool.

Also, definitely go read Thomas Pynchon. The Crying of Lot 49 has a lot of the same ticks, and Inherent Vice is about to be released as a film by the world's greatest director Paul Thomas Anderson*.

*currently working director, at least. And I'd probably vote for Leos Carax first, but it feels like Holy Motors will be his last.

#10 Posted by Little_Socrates (5733 posts) -

...wait for BlazBlue: Chronophantasia?

I've only lightly enjoyed Guilty Gear or Persona Arena in the max, and I've never really liked BlazBlue. I'm looking to try to get into anime fighters, and I don't know which is the best bet. I'd be getting Ultimax for 360, if it makes a difference.